I woke up in another room. It was the smell of food that woke me up. I would rather starve myself than suffer another minute, but the food made my stomach tighten with hunger pangs. When was the last time I had eaten? I couldn’t recall. From what I could make of the room, it was mostly pastel colors, with sunshine filtering through the window. The curtains on the window were short, short enough that I couldn’t hang myself with them either. A food tray was balanced on the night stand next to the bed, hence the overpowering smell.
“Sleeping beauty awakens,” came a wry voice from the chair located near the desk, “I thought we’d have to serve the food cold.”
“Where am I?” I asked my voice hoarse.
“In the psych ward,” he cheerfully told me as he wrote something on one of those stupid clipboards everyone in a hospital holds, “you made your poor mother so upset, she agreed to us helping you.”
“I don’t want to be here, and you watching me sleep is just creepy.” I was a little lightheaded, but I managed to get up with some effort. All this while, he only watched and didn’t offer any help. A little relieved at not being cuffed to the bed or something, my eyes fell upon something odd, something that made me feel more tired than I was.
“You put an ankle monitor on me,” I whispered.
He nodded. “Yes, we did.”
“You put an ankle monitor on me,” I repeated as he nodded once again. His eyes were kinder this time, and I hated it, “Please take it off.”
“I can’t, we don’t want you running off.”
“But I don’t want to be here, and I want this off of me,” I knew it sounded like whining, but I was desperate to not exchange one prison sentence with another, “I did not ask for any of this.”
“I know, but you’re sick Mia,” he told me, “and we’re going to help you get better. First, you need to eat, and then I’ll give you a tour of this place, alright?”
Realizing my words wouldn’t work on him, I changed tactics.
“So, what are you, my therapist?”
“No, I’m more of a friend,” he told me with a smile, “I’m going to be responsible for you while you’re here, but, mostly I’ll be your friend.”
I stared at him. He was serious.
“My parents bought me a friend,” I deadpanned, internally frowning at the pun, and hating myself for acknowledging it.
“No, I volunteered.”
I would make him go away. I would make them all go away.
“I don’t want friends, I want to get out of here!” I swiped at the food tray, and it fell with a cacophony of noises, making us both wince.
He stood up and shook his head at me. “I’ll send someone to help you clean that up. You make a mess here, you clean it too.”
He took one last look at me, then the spilled food shook his head again, and quietly shut the door behind him as he left.
For someone who was more disappointed to have been alive a while back, this time my disappointment only had to do with my own behavior.
Why did I always behave like this?